Congratulations to our 2019 Ontario Parks Partners Bursary recipients!

The summer student workforce is the life-blood of the Ontario Parks summer operating season. Our provincial parks simply could not operate without our student workers.

This week, we gathered in Peterborough to award the 2019 Ontario Parks Partners Bursaries.

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Love at first snap: caring for Spike at Emily Provincial Park

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Rosemary Minns from Emily Provincial Park.

Emily Provincial Park is a lovely place. Plenty of docks to fish, beaches to swim, and large campsites. I was extremely excited to work as a Discovery student at Emily. There was one catch to this job…

…I had to learn to take care of a Snapping Turtle. 

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The joy of answering interesting questions

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a backstage glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Anna Scuhr, Discovery Program staff member at Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Many joys come along with being an Ontario Parks’ Discovery Guide. We work in some of Ontario’s most beautiful places, with coworkers who share our passions, and a job that is never dull.

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True beginnings in nature: four generations of campers

Today’s post comes from Rebecca van Massenhoven, a Learn to Camp leader at Grundy Lake Provincial Park.

In 1951, at the age of forty, my great-grandmother crossed the Atlantic Ocean with her family on the ocean liner The Volendam. She wanted a better future for her family, and moved to Canada in search of this dream.

I can still recall her burning curiosity about the world around her. From spiders to birds, she loved learning about nature and often spent time sharing this passion with the family. As a child, I sat in her bay window watching the birds that came to her feeder as she told me about them as if they were her dear old friends.

My story truly began with my great-grandmother’s passion for the environment. In each of the four generations that have come to call Canada home, we continue to foster her love of the natural environment as our own.

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Quetico’s wilderness voices

Today’s post comes from Jill Legault, an information specialist at Quetico Provincial Park.

Quetico’s oral histories have been locked away on archival cassettes at the John B. Ridley Research Library — until now.

Courtesy of history enthusiasts from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, they have come out of the vault and into our ears.

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Working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park

Today’s post comes from Kathleen Boston, a Discovery Leader at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. 

Three years ago, I applied to spend my summer working at Pancake Bay Provincial Park. It was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Thankfully I was chosen to work as a gate attendant for my first year. In my second year I moved to the maintenance department, and now, in my third year, I am part of the Discovery Program team.

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Behind the scenes: from curious camper to Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

In our “Behind the Scenes” series, Discovery Program staff across the province share a “backstage” glimpse of their favourite programs and projects. Today’s post comes from Jordan Welch and Kelly Taylor, Discovery Program staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

We have all been asked the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”

We tend to make the decision based on the experiences we have. For some, it’s school; for others, it’s travel. Perhaps even friends and family help in deciding a career path. We went outside.

Continue reading Behind the scenes: from curious camper to Discovery staff at Lake Superior Provincial Park

The life of a resource steward

Today’s post comes from Rebecca Rogge, a travelling resource steward for the Northeast Zone.

I first started working for the Northeast Zone Resource Steward Program back in 2011. It seems like a lifetime ago.

At the time, it was a relatively new job in Ontario Parks. The program had only been around for a few years, and few of us existed.

Several parks were created in 1999, the majority of which were “non-operating” provincial parks. They generally do not have facilities or dedicated staff. Many protect recreational waterways and nature reserves protect rare flora, fauna and geological landscapes.

This is where we, the resource stewards, spend most of our time. In these wonderfully beautiful and diverse places.

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Happy World Ranger Day

Ontario Parks staff tackle a huge array of tasks and challenges.

Our days are diverse. You might find us researching rare species, applying First Aid to injured guests, maintaining safe and healthy water systems, building a boardwalk, or welcoming families to a busy campground.

We’re stewards of our province’s most treasured natural resources. We’re educators, instilling a love of nature in new generations of Ontarians.

Internationally, World Ranger Day celebrates their wonderful work protecting our parks, and commemorates park rangers killed or injured in the line of duty in park organizations with high-risk activities.

We’re proud to keep our parks safe and welcoming to visitors, while protecting our amazing natural world.

Take a look at just a few of our everyday heroes:

Continue reading Happy World Ranger Day